NASCAR has made a schedule change for the Cup Series test at Pocono Raceway. Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, and Daniel Suarez will all take part in a tire test for Goodyear on May 10-11 after rain delayed the end of the race at Dover Motor Speedway.
Pocono Raceway issued a press release and confirmed that each OEM will have one representative as Goodyear examines the tire setup for the summer Cup Series race. Busch will represent Toyota, Almirola will control a Ford, and Suarez will showcase a Chevrolet. They will spend two days at the 2.5-mile Tricky Triangle before heading to Darlington Raceway for Throwback Weekend.
The three drivers have previous success at Pocono Raceway. Busch has four career wins at the Tricky Triangle along with 11 top-five finishes and four pole wins. Suarez has three top-10 finishes and a Pole Award from the 2018 season. Almirola has four top-10 finishes at Pocono, headlined by two top-fives from the 2020 season.
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Busch Most Recently Won at Pocono Raceway
The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota is a fitting choice for the test considering his consistent history of success at Pocono Raceway. This includes a doubleheader weekend in 2021 that featured a runner-up and a trip to Victory Lane.
The Cup Series drivers headed to Pocono Raceway on June 26-27 for back-to-back races. Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman captured the first race after leading 16 laps, but Busch finished second overall after leading 30 laps of his own.
They returned to Pocono Raceway the following day for another 140 laps, but Busch started 19th overall after NASCAR inverted the starting order. He had to navigate his way through the field, but he put himself back into position when it mattered. Busch led 30 laps for the second time, but he held off Kyle Larson at the end to capture his second win of the year
This was not a simple win for Busch. He had to focus on conserving fuel during the final stage while battling other drivers. He also had to deal with a major transmission issue throughout the race.
The two-time Cup Series champion revealed over the radio early in the race that he was dealing with transmission issues. His No. 18 JGR Toyota Camry kept popping out of gear. Busch had to combat this problem by holding his car in gear while essentially driving with one hand for much of the race.
Suarez Will Have an Important Opportunity at Pocono
Suarez will be a big name to watch after he takes part in the Goodyear test at Pocono Raceway. One reason is that he previously acknowledged the importance of winning his way into the Cup Series playoffs. Another is that he has some strong performances at the track.
The driver of the No. 99 will have several opportunities to contend for a win before heading to Pocono Raceway for the July race, but this trip will be one to watch. One big reason is that Suarez’s best career finish was a runner-up behind his then-teammate in Busch in 2018.
Suarez will return to the Tricky Triangle for his 11th career start, and he will strive to accomplish multiple goals. Finishing the race will be chief among them while stacking stage points will hold a considerable amount of importance. Though Suarez’s ultimate goal will be reaching Victory Lane for the first time in his Cup Series career and securing that all-important spot in the playoffs.